James Larkin quotes

James Larkin was a trade union leader who fought to improve pay and conditions for ordinary Irish workers at the beginning of the 20th century. He was born into poverty and received no formal education, yet he went on to found the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and the Irish Labour Party.

James Larkin
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He was a brilliant orator and inspiring leader who became a thorn in the side of big businesses and large corporations which tried to suppress wages to boost their profits. He is still remembered as a working class hero by many in Ireland, especially in Dublin where he was based for most of his career.

These are some of his most famous quotes, which still resonate with millions of people today.

James Larkin quote. A fair days work for a fair days pay. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Comrades – We are living in momentous times.

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We shall not fight for the preservation of the enemy, which has laid waste with death and desolation the fields and hills of Ireland for 700 years.
Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling
No, men and women of the Irish race, we shall not fight for England. We shall fight for the destruction of the British Empire and the construction of an Irish republic.

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Claiming for ourselves liberty of conscience, liberty to worship, we shall see to it that every other individual enjoys the same right.

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James Larkin quote. For years and years I have done the work I was born for. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Humanity abhors, above all things, a vacuum in itself, and your class will be cut off from humanity as the surgeon cuts the cancer and alien growth from the body.

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The employers cannot carry on industry nor accumulate profits if they have not got the good will of the workers or their acquiescence in carrying on such industry.

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James Larkin quote. I have tried to kill sectarianism, whether in Catholics or Protestants. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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The men whose manhood you have broken will loathe you, and will always be brooding and scheming to strike a fresh blow.

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I have raised the morals and sobriety of the people.

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Celtic Tree Pendants

James Larkin quote. By Gods help and the intelligent use of their own strong right arms they could accomplish great things. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Stop at home. Arm for Ireland. Fight for Ireland and no other land.

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I never stood in a public house bar and alcoholic drink never touched my lips.

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The land of Ireland for the people of Ireland.

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James Larkin quote. I am careful about my conduct because I know this cause requires clean men. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Those who want to divide the workers have resorted to the foulest methods.

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It means that the men who hold the means of life control our lives, and, because we workingmen have tried to get some measure of justice, some measure of betterment, they deny the right of the human being to associate with his fellow.

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We make mistakes, we have our faults, and God knows some of us have more than our share, but when danger threatens and duty calls, we go smiling to our own funeral.

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James Larkin quote. Intolerance has been the curse of our country. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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We are beaten, we will make no bones about it; but we are not too badly beaten still to fight.

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We are now on the threshold of a newer movement, with a newer hope and a new inspiration.

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A mutual arrangement, I repeat, is the only satisfactory medium whereby the present system can be carried on with any degree of satisfaction, and in such an arrangement the employers have more to gain than the workers.

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James Larkin quote. The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise. Image copyright Ireland Calling

James Larkin

Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All images copyright Ireland Calling

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